Your Navy

Sailors rallied to overturn the Navy's unpopular ratings decision. Here's how the White House responded.

There will be no executive intervention in the highly unpopular decision to eliminate Navy rating titles in the service.

That news comes with a mid-November White House statement supporting the Navy's decisions posted on the White House Petition web page, saying the long-term angst among sailors and veterans doesn't outweigh the future benefits of the move to the service.

"Organizational changes that require a cultural shift can cause friction during transition periods, but [President Barack Obama] has confidence in the decisions made by U.S. Navy leaders and agrees that the benefits in future years will outweigh growing pains in the next several months."

Navy officials declined to comment on the White House’s statement, other than to say "it speaks for itself."

In the rest of the statement, the White House reiterated the Navy's already stated position on the reason for the moves, saying that elimination of titles was necessary for the service to move forward with reforms that, Navy leaders contend, will open up career opportunity, advancement and duty assignments.

But the White house took special note of the effort to include civilian certifications in Navy career paths.

"This Administration believes that providing widely-recognized credentials will improve service members' chances of success in the private sector. Improving hiring opportunities for veterans remains a high priority for this Administration, embodied in efforts such as the First Lady [Michelle Obama] and Dr. [Jill] Biden's 'Joining Forces' initiative."

This official response comes just two weeks after the petition reached the mandated 100,000 signatures required to trigger the White House to review the decision, something the White House says is very rare as only 0.001 percent of those started reach the level of a formal response.

"Within the last year, approximately 39,000 petitions have been filed on the petition site, the majority of which don't become public," The White House said in an email response to Navy Times. "Within the last year, 40 petitions have achieved 100,000 signatures."

Since achieving the goal, the total numbers of signatures continued to rise, reaching 103,744 total signatures before the petition was closed as the response was posted on their website.

Here's the full White House statement posted in mid-November:

Thank you for adding your name to this We the People petition and for  your concern regarding the men and women who serve in the United States  Navy. The Navy's recent announcement about Navy Occupational Specialties  has garnered attention from many veterans and supporters like you who  cherish naval tradition.

This new classification system, which was produced by a comprehensive  review led by the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy and his senior  enlisted leadership, moves toward occupational specialties titles  similar to the other armed services. Modernizing this system provides  many benefits within the Navy, such as increased flexibility in training  and assignments. It also affords our Sailors opportunities when  transitioning to the civilian workforce by aligning their specialties  with civilian occupations.

This Administration believes that providing widely-recognized credentials  will improve service members' chances of success in the private sector.  Improving hiring opportunities for veterans remains a high priority for  this Administration, embodied in efforts such as the First Lady and Dr.  Biden's "Joining Forces" initiative.

Organizational changes that require a cultural shift can cause friction  during transition periods, but the President has confidence in the

decisions made by U.S. Navy leaders and agrees that the benefits in future years  will outweigh growing pains in the next several months. Whether one's  Navy career occurred under the former rating structure or today's  modernized system, the President maintains his steadfast pride in Sailors  who have sacrificed and worked hard to serve with distinction.

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